During a thorough house-cleaning, reaching into the back of a drawer, I suddenly froze, astounded to find a Faberge Egg. Adorned on the front of an elegant navy blue box, about five inches wide, eight inches long and five inches, the words, “Faberge Egg” in gold sophisticated calligraphy were scribed on the front. I nearly tumbled backward in shock. They sell for $33,000,000, if you can find one. Only sixty exist in the world.
The expensive eggs had been fashioned for the Russian Tsars by a goldsmith (Mr. Faberge) and boasted precious jewels among the gold and colorful enamels in what was called “the Imperial Style,” meaning super fancy. The eggs always told a story and contained a surprise. In 1885, the Hen Egg shone with white enamel on the outside and opened to reveal a golden yoke within. Inside the yoke lay a gold hen who carried a diamond crown in her tummy. The crown bore a ruby pendant inside it.
I couldn’t imagine what lay within my blue box. When I gingerly opened it, I saw a clear glass egg lying on white shiny fabric, the size of a jumbo real egg. The (probably) handblown egg-shape had tiny designs etched on it: small wavy lines with flowers and petal-shapes. It didn’t open to reveal a surprise inside. However, the flattened bottom bore an edition number and signature, “Faberge.” Clearly, I couldn’t brag to anyone that I had an Imperial Style Faberge Egg. And my bank account would remain the same as always.
Google told me the company had restarted in 2007 after almost one hundred years of silence. They had created two Imperial Style eggs recently, each worth millions of dollars. However, I figured that they must now also be fashioning scaled down eggs: very nice gifts, but likely to be expensive. Although I searched my memory, I couldn’t remember anyone giving it to me.
Since I’d been cleaning out drawers that my son and I shared, I concluded it had been given to him. He’d become a skilled glassblower hobbyist. His dad’s family often gave lavish, expensive and thoughtful gifts and they must’ve thought he’d enjoy the glasswork. When I asked, he, who has a sharp memory, said he’d never seen it before. Which meant it must belong to me. Who would give me such a lovely gift? I found it interesting that I’d assumed something precious could not possibly belong to me, but must be my son’s.
It was time to boost my self-esteem. Over the decades, I’d remained close to my son’s three aunts, especially to Chloe, the nearest in age to me. Instilled with her family’s generosity, she often gave luxurious gifts. It must’ve been from her. Although I felt embarrassed that I’d forgotten such a kind gesture from Chloe, I decided to appreciate it now that it’d reappeared in my life. Even if it’s an online knock-off, I knew Chloe did her research and only bought the best.
I decided I deserved this odd and lovely egg. I’d supported Chloe through a long, contentious divorce. Our friendship had grown deeper as a result. It felt good to honor our long journey together over the years.
I put it in a place of honor in my home near the statue of the beautiful Buddha of Compassion, Kuan Yin. This seemed right because eggs symbolized new beginnings and the potential for budding life and, in my case, developing self-respect. I henceforth declared to my inner self and to the world: “I am the proud owner of a Faberge Egg.”
2023 February 8 – May 1